Prestige Preparatory Academy is a unique school for boys in Charleston county. We're in North Charleston for our Cool School of the week.
Prestige Preparatory Academy opened its doors this school year on the old Navy base in North Charleston. Currently for kindergarten through 4th grades, they hope to grow to K-8th grade by 20-20. Founder and executive director Joyce Coleman says, "This is unique. This is the first all boy charter school in Charleston county and with anything you have your struggles, but we are willing to go against the odds to make a difference for these young men." Coleman says
the year round school provides boys with a world class learning opportunity by creating a nurturing and innovative environment, developing the core values of scholarship, integrity, and brotherhood. "We work on addressing the unique ways boys learn and the way they do things, their tempo, and making school literacy and wellness focused," says Coleman.
The school is divided into universities, schools-within-a-school. Grades K-2 are in the "Dream Builders University" in the House of Alpha, where they are "building the foundation." Grades 3-4 are in the "Dream Makers University" in the House of Kappa, "leveraging the knowledge." Coleman says, "Classes are set up into two core areas. There is a literacy area that lasts for three hours, then there is exploratory that lasts for three hours and that's the math and science. In our classrooms we work in a flex model, we do student one on one, student with teacher and student with blended learning with the computer."
Students also read the newspaper out loud in class every day. Curriculum specialist Ricardo Robinson says, "The biggest thing we're doing is starting with literacy. A lot of boys come to school not prepared to read, so we have identified a curriculum that targets students at their individual reading levels. We're tracking their levels, making them aware of where they are, allowing them to help set goals, then everybody on staff, me the principal work with pulling out small groups of students who need additional help beyond what the teacher gives."
Students say they value the small class sizes. "We have nice teachers and I like it because we get more space," says fourth-grade student Gabriel Morris, "Since there is ten people now in our classroom, she can help people one by one and it's easier."
For Coleman, the bottom line is simple, "Our focus is to make a difference."
After school programs include Boy Scouts and a music program with drum line and key boarding, and soccer is coming soon.
Coming up Friday on News 2, we'll present Prestige Preparatory Academy with our Cool School award.